April 20, 2021
“Our Greatest Weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison In this article we’ll discover 13 Ways To Overcome Self Doubt (to move your business forward).
Growing and building your own business means making hard decisions, taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Believe me, there will come a time when you start to doubt yourself.
When that happens, the most important thing to remember is that it’s all a part of life, part of being an entrepreneur, and part of learning.
Self-doubt is a part of pretty much everybody’s life at some point. Especially if you’re trying something new. It could be anything from adding a new skill set to your business, rebranding or just putting out your first live post on social media.
When it creeps in, it can change your mental state in minutes taking you from being positive and excited about what you’re doing to feeling anxious wanting to give it all up. It can stop you from getting up and taking action and leave you wanting to crawl back under the duvet, wishing you had never started.
Imagine you’re invited to guest speak on a podcast. At first you’re excited, it’s a great opportunity to promote your business, reach more potential clients, build authority and expand your network. But as the date gets closer you start to worry; what if you get stuck for words? What if you forget something or say something stupid?
Then it spirals and you think; maybe you don’t really know what you’re talking about? People will see that you’re not really an expert and what if there are real experts listening? you’ll be a laughing stock.
This kind of thinking is a completely normal part of being human, the good news is there are many ways to deal with the self-doubt that’s holding you back.
Awareness is key to healing anything, you’ve got to know it’s there. It’s those voices:
“I’m Not good enough”
“Who am I to be charging this much”
“No one will take me seriously”
“No one will want to buy from me”
“Why am I even bothering?”
“This is way over my head. What was I thinking?”
Recognise the voices for what they are, only thoughts and remind yourself that self doubt and imposter syndrome are completely normal when you’re trying something new out of your comfort zone.
So, in a way, it’s actually a good thing. If you are experiencing it, then it means you’re pushing yourself to your potential!
Whenever you feel the heaviness of self doubt in your body and spirit, try not to identify with it.
You need to move it. It could be a trip to the gym, a walk in nature or some simple stretching.
Getting your blood moving around the body also moves the flow of energy and, in turn, gets that low energy moving away too. The movement also dissipates stress chemicals and creates endorphins that make you feel better. And the better we FEEL about ourselves the more motivated we are and ideas and energy start to flow.
When it comes to fear and imposter syndrome, one really simple thing that can help is just being brave. Hear me out. You actually get to choose in every moment how you respond to fear. Whether you move away from it or towards it.
Doing something new and outside of your comfort zone is going to be scary, that’s a fact. Those who succeed are the ones who change their relationship with fear. The key is just to recognise the fear when it shows up and do what you’re afraid of anyway. It takes some practice but eventually it becomes second nature. Live by this “do it scared”.
Writing down 3 things every day that you are grateful for will keep you focused on positive outcomes. It sounds very simple, and it is, but it can take some practice until it becomes a habit.
If self doubt is raging, it can be especially difficult to see through the noise and you may struggle to find anything to be grateful for. That’s ok, it can be anything, big or small; your beautiful home, the comfy socks you’re wearing or effort that went into producing the tea that you’re drinking. The important thing is that you feel gratitude on an emotional level.
That voice of doubt in your head is just your mind doing its job to keep you safe. It’s an outdated biological survival mechanism. At some time, probably in childhood, you did something and the consequences were unbearable. Maybe it was putting your hand up in class, you got bullied or embarrassed yourself and you ended up fearing for your life. Your subconscious remembers this and then the next time a similar feeling crops up the defense system kicks in and your mind says these things to keep you small and safe.
Meditation helps with practicing mind-control, which is basically recognising thoughts and allowing them to detach from your emotions and pass by. You learn can observe the doubtful thoughts instead of being controlled by them.
Self-care is essential in dealing with self doubt. In order to look after your mental health and physical health, establish a self-care routine. Make sure you give yourself time off to rest and to have some fun.
When you’re tired and drained, that’s when the self doubt is at its strongest. The best thing you can do now is rest. That doesn’t mean go to bed and sleep, you could meet a friend for lunch, go for a walk or do a bit of gardening (if you’re like me), the important thing is to do something that makes you feel good. The better you FEEL about yourself, the more motivated you will be and ideas and energy will start to flow.
Taking time for yourself and a bit of self care is the answer, your physical wellbeing has a direct link to your emotional wellbeing.
I follow the moon cycles and the moon’s activity. I swear by this. I even plant seeds in my garden by the moon. We are 70% water. Look what the moon does to the tides. Emotions are the element of Water. Imagine your emotions riding the high … or low tide! Check if the moon is new or full. If so give it a couple of days and you may feel back to feeling normal.
Seriously, there’s nothing better for changing your mood than putting on a good tune. You just want to get rid of those low negative thoughts, put on some fun music. I always go for Queen!! And soon enough I’m singing my heart out. Basically, you want to stimulate positive feelings to get back into a positive mental state. Don’t think about the success you’re aiming for, let that go for now and just focus on allowing the music to change your energy and mental state.
Remember why you are doing this. What drove the desire and spark in you in the first place? It is your story and experience of why you started doing what you do. Think about how much joy you brought to a specific client and ask yourself:
“imposter” or not…do you help people?
If the answer is yes, you are NOT an imposter, simple. In fact you have a duty to keep using your gifts to continue helping others.
If you’re still not convinced, ask your current or previous clients for feedback or read the testimonials that you’ve already collected. Ask them what they would say if they were referring you to someone else. There’s no better way to get a confidence boost.
The questions you ask yourself define your results. By changing the question you are answering for yourself, you can get a completely different perspective.
Instead of asking: “how are things not working?”, try asking: “How are things improving, moving, opening, changing for the better?”, and watch as your mind goes about answering this question.
Especially if you’re just starting out, don’t compare with others in the industry who’ve been going 10 years or more. They started here too. Don’t compare your chapter 1 with others’ chapter 10. Just make your plan and keep moving forward one action at a time.
Naming the voice in your head that loves to hold you back can help you dis-identify with self doubt.
“Oh there’s that negative Nancy – trying to stop me from achieving my dreams again. Hi Nancy”, then use that ammunition to fight back. I will prove her wrong.
Perhaps call it the name of someone who didn’t believe in you in your past.. An old teacher that said you’ll never amount to anything. I had one of those. But can use the power of proving her wrong as fuel to drive you forward!
The people you spend your time with will either increase your self doubt, through their own fear or boost your confidence in yourself. Who can talk you back up and instil that confidence?
Sometimes it takes a conversation with someone else to shift your perspective. I have two industry friends I can talk to when I’m feeling self doubt. Find your cheerleader and talk to him or her. Surround yourself with cheerleaders, find a support network. If you’re ready to make an investment in yourself, work with us.
If you want to go far, go with people!
Helping entrepreneurs get out of self-doubt and procrastination is our speciality at Be Well In Business. If this is something that you are struggling with, contact one of our team and we’ll do our absolute best to help you.